Looks like Florida is becoming the dumping ground for the most contagious virus to hit the United States in years.
Just come on down and see how many people you can infect. Especially if there’s a Republican thing going on with President Donald Trump in attendance.
North Carolina wisely rejected the Republican National Convention for Charlotte after Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, refused to say he would let thousands and thousands of Republicans gather to nominate Trump for a second term.
So Trump quickly got Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to open the doors so they could all pour into his town in August.
Jacksonville is now trying to prepare for a gathering of thousands from all over the country. Curry has a lot of work to do – a poll this week found 49 percent of Jacksonville residents oppose the convention and 39 percent support it. Not everyone wants to risk getting the virus.
Good luck with that. Surely no harm can come from a bunch of partying, drinking politicians.
Now the University of Michigan has dumped a presidential debate that had been scheduled for mid-October in Ann Arbor.
Probably won’t be as many people, but the world’s press corps and every politician from both parties was scheduled to descend on the University to watch the fireworks. It will now occur at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.
No way, Michigan decided, tossing the whole bundle of joy to Florida.
Major entertainment and sporting events around the world have been canceled this year out of fears over the deadly virus that has already claimed more than 100,000 lives in the United States.
In March as everyone was moving into lockdown mode, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Florida businesses and cities to limit or postpone large gatherings and cancel entertainment and sporting events.
Most of us have moved inside our houses and dramatically limited contact with people who don’t live in the same house. Some people are too fearful to go to the grocery store and most churches suspended services of any kind for months.
The baseball teams that have spring training games in Florida tried to play but decided to call it quits after a few games as several players were diagnosed with the virus.
New cases of the virus are spiking all over the state, much to the concern of officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and others testified before a Congressional committee Tuesday, warning of a tough few weeks ahead as more people come down with the disease. He strongly urged Americans to avoid congregating in crowds anywhere in the country.
Fauci and the others also dismissed President Trump’s suggestion that he had ordered them to reduce the number of tests being done in the nation so we wouldn’t have so many testing positive.
Fauci said the CDC will be doing more testing as a result of the increased number of cases in 25 states, including Florida and North Carolina. Trump complained about the increased testing at a political rally in Oklahoma Monday night, dismissing the seriousness of the situation.
So far, our Republican Gov. DeSantis seems to be following the Trump line, saying nary a word of opposition to moving big events to Florida.
After all, these are political events. Maybe they really are bullet proof.
About Florida Phoenix
This story appeared on the website of the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to coverage of state government and politics from Tallahassee.